Planners from the Vidal Partnership, Home Depot's Hispanic agency, found their star, Mike, on his daily shopping trip for supplies for his latest home-improvement project -- a colorful, tiled room to remind him of his native Mexico and his American-born daughter of her heritage.
"It's a great opportunity ... for Home Depot to do a truly Hispanic-relevant spot we can do in either English or Spanish," said Roger Adams, Home Depot's senior VP-chief marketing officer. "It's also the first time we've used a Hispanic agency to produce English-language copy. It's a real role reversal."
Two different 'Corner's
There are subtle differences in the two versions of "My Favorite Corner." As Mike tells the story of the room in Spanish, his wife affectionately chimes in, and his daughter's Spanish is a little hesitant. The English spot, which will go into general-market rotation in mid-April, focuses more on the relationship between Mike and his daughter. More confident in English, she expresses her interest in her father's culture as something she would like to pass down to her children.
The family represents three levels of acculturation -- and three accents. Mike is bilingual, his Venezuelan wife is more comfortable with Spanish, and their daughter was raised in the U.S. "They're very much a reflection of Hispanic life in America," Mr. Adams said.
Jacob Perez, a senior account planner at Vidal, said it's a myth that acculturated Hispanics abandon their culture. "The home is the greatest symbol of 'I am Hispanic'," he said. "It's the difference between pastel [paint] and red."
That doesn't make the group easy to reach. "That's a never-ending challenge," he said, "something just about every client has on the table."